Men's Health Week highlights the impact on Dads’ mental health

June 10, 2024 | Triple P Articles

3 min read
A dad is piggybacking his son, they are smiling together.

This Men’s Health Week (10 –16 June), Triple P parenting experts are encouraging dads, stepdads, grandfathers, and all father figures to prioritise their mental health and see ‘help-seeking’ as a superpower that has a positive ripple effect on the entire family.

Dr Alan Ralph, Head of Training and Clinical Psychologist with The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, said the mental health and wellbeing of fathers is worsening amidst rising financial pressures and work-life balance struggles.

“In Triple P’s 2024 National Parenting Survey of 8,300 parents, more than a third of dads reported that the cost-of-living crisis is affecting their ability to remain calm and loving parents,” Dr Ralph said.

“Additionally, nearly half (46%) of fathers said they felt guilty about the amount of time spent with their kids,” he said.

According to Dr Ralph, these findings highlight how increased stress, worry, and ongoing feelings of guilt can lead to heightened mental health concerns. But by prioritising self-care and opening up to ask for support, whether it’s talking to a trusted friend, GP, health professional, or getting parenting support, dads can mitigate any negative or long-term impacts.

“When fathers take care of their wellbeing it can also have a positive impact on the overall health and wellbeing of their kids,” he said.

“Men’s Health Week is a timely reminder for fathers to check in on their mental health and to understand just how important it is for themselves, and their families, to look after their wellbeing,” he said.

Triple P’s Top Tips for Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing

  • Taking care of yourself isn't selfish; it's an important parenting skill. Small changes, like making some regular time for yourself, staying active, or connecting with mates, can help prevent stress from building up.
  • Spending quality time together is great, but it’s also reassuring for busy parents to know that short moments of genuine connection with their kids can make a big difference. When your kids want to share something with you, whether it's a story, a problem, or something they're just curious or excited about, tuning in and really listening sends the message that they’re loved and important.
  • Parenting doesn’t come with a manual, and during this stressful time for many families across Australia, it’s important to dispel the myth that asking for help is a sign of weakness or incompetence. In fact, it’s a sign of strength.
  • Just like any other skill, it takes time and practice to get the hang of parenting, and you’re constantly learning and updating your toolkit. It's okay to be kind to yourself if you're finding it hard and remember that asking for help is a positive step forward. Seek out support and resources to give you the tools that best suit your needs as a parent.

“Engaging in positive parenting programs has been shown to have beneficial outcomes for both children and families, with early intervention in the parenting journey leading to better long-term results,” Dr Ralph said.

“By being open about your struggles and accessing help, parents and carers can create a positive and loving home environment that strengthens children’s emotional resilience and gives them the best start in life,” he said.


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